Today in the Windy-City, on this Eve of All Hallows Eve the grey rain is pulling the leaves off the trees. Crumpled brown oak leaves, yellow fans from the chestnuts & gingko, bright red Japanese maples, & the rich gold of beech lie in heaps like the embers of Summer’s fire.
A tree in Summer is shaped like the alchemical symbol for Fire, the upward-pointing triangle or pyramid. It spreads its leaves & reaches up to absorb the Sun’s rays, transforming light into food through the process of photosynthesis.
At All Hallows-tide, the life-force returns to the roots: energetically it becomes the downward-pointing triangle, symbol of Water. Now the tree’s work is different, but every bit as important as in the growing season. Fallen leaves protect soil from being washed away by winter snow. They also provide a veritable feast for insects & micro-organisms who break them down & increase the availability of nutrients to the soil & roots of the tree.
Trees teach us the importance of releasing, knowing that each one of our past experiences – whatever they may be – ‘good or bad’, has the potential of enriching the soil of the soul.
The fire of the great Spiritual Sun that powers our evolutionary journey through countless lifetimes now goes deep within to be absorbed & transformed in the cauldron of winter’s inward light. In Irish & Scottish tradition, where this festival is known as Samhain, meaning Summer’s end – the end of the light half of the year, this cauldron is stirred by the Cailleach, the Dark Goddess, & it is thru her alchemy that we are “cooked” to provide nourishment for another cycle of soul-growth.
I ran across an article today in Atlas Obscura about how Irish families fixed charms not only using trees, but onto all kinds of vegetables to be served up during the All Souls Season: colcannon, potato, cabbage, kale, & onion mash. This I knew – BUT – I had never heard of the ‘kale-based Halloween rituals’ practiced across the British Isles. That’s right kale! – How Scottish youths sneak onto local farms or into their neighbors’ gardens at midnight, blindfold each other, pull stalks of kale from the ground, then ‘read them’, analyzing their length & girth, the quality of their cores – the amount of dirt caked onto them – to divine what kind of partner they’ll marry. According to folklore some folks hung kale over their door overnight, & then placed it under their pillow to prompt prophetic dreams. Children who wanted a little sister or brother could place a stalk of kale outside their parents’ door to nudge a sibling into being.
Popular accounts describe these ritual divination games as ancient Celtic practices, but the first clear evidence of blindfolded midnight kale picking in Scotland crops up (haha) in a 1769 travelogue – it was also featured in Scottish literary hero Robert Burns’s 1785 poem “Hallowe’en”. From there, it pops up frequently in regional folklore collections.
Scottish newspapers talked about people in Halloween parades wielding kale stalks topped with candles as torches. Kale – a uniquely hearty crop, with its cousin cabbage, were two crops even the poorest folk could reliably grow. Halloween of course falls during the traditional cabbage & kale harvest season. In Scotland, kale was so ubiquitous that home gardens are still often called kaleyards. The bells of St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh tolling at noon were known as the ‘kale bell’ – calling workers in for their midday meal.
There are a tons of other Halloween divination traditions based on matchmaking using common foods, such as cracking egg whites into water or dropping apple peels onto the ground (to form your beloved’s initials). Bobbing for apples – a homage to the harvesting of the apple trees – was all about getting potential suitors up close & personal.
Of course, in America Halloween became a children’s holiday, focused on juvenile pranks & candy. And so unless we tune in again to our ancestors, & honor the natural world, this Holy Season meant to communicate with the so-called-dead, who are in the O so near spiritual world, along with those souls waiting to be reborn – is left loveless & kale-less…
~see you in the kaleyard…
30 October 2021 – “Speaking with the Stars”: Find Perseus with the help of the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen. Cassiopeia’s distinctive M or W shape is ascending in the northeast on Northern Hemisphere autumn evenings, with Perseus following. Cassiopeia and Perseus travel together in a great arc around the northern sky. Be sure to look for the star Algol, sometimes called the Ghoul Star or Demon Star…to reminder to tame those forces during this All Hallows time…
Here is a short video offering of ‘Michaelmas as a Festival of the Future’ given as part of the Applied Anthroposophy Chrysalis Group: ‘The Cycle of the Year as a Path of Initiation into the New Mysteries’ with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg and Nancy Melvin.
We have just started a Family Farm Initiative web page
Can you spare a few $ every month to support ZINNIKER the oldest Biodynamic farm in America?
All Hallows Eve Gathering
to honor our Beloved Ones across the Threshold
& to strengthen our work on this side of the veil.
31 October 5 pm Potluck – Please bring food & drink to share
& dress up as who you want to be in the New Year…
- Sunset ritual with Rev. Jeana Lee, Rev. Victoria Capon.
- Prep-stir for the elemental world with ~hag
- Bonfire by CG
At the home of Hazel & Chuck Ginsberg RSVP
|“Where, then, is the Grail, which today bears the name of Parzival? Where can it be found? In the course of my research it had become apparent that the name must be sought in the stellar script. And then, in a day which I must regard as specially significant for me, I was shown where the gold-gleaming vessel is to be found in reality, so that through it – through its symbolical expression in the stellar script – we are led to the secret of the Grail. And then I saw in the stellar script something that anyone can see – only he will not immediately discern the secret. For one day, while I was observing the gold-gleaming sickle of the moon in inner vision, as this appears in the heavens, with the dark moon like a great disk dimly visible within it, it dawned on me: with physical sight one could see the gold-gleaming moon – ganganda greida, the journeying viaticum – and within it the large host, the dark, wafer-like disc. This is not to be seen if one merely glances superficially at the moon, but it is evident if one looks closely – and there, in wonderful letters of the occult script, was the name Parzival!”~Rudolf Steiner, The Mysteries of the Holy Grail, Chapter 5, “Seeking for Signs of Parzival”, excerpts from Steiner’s lectures given at Leipzig on 1 January 1914 … focus of the November 3 meeting.|
These chapters from the book can be found online at the CRC’s website by clicking this link
A transcript of the 1914 Torquay lectures can be found on the RS Archive by clicking this link
The Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America invites you to join our ongoing study conversation. The study has been divided among two volunteers who will summarize their section to rebuild it as a foundation for our conversation. Please familiarize yourself with the lecture if possible so you will feel comfortable sharing your reflections and thoughts with the group.This collection of lectures has been republished by Rudolf Steiner Press under the title: “The Mysteries of the Holy Grail — from Arthur and Parzival to Modern Initiation.” The book was compiled and edited by Matthew Barton, published by Rudolf Steiner Press in 2010.
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|Agenda for this meeting (CST)|
7:15 Welcome and Introductions
7:25 Study led by volunteers
Note: CRC team will ID volunteers
Camille – pg. 32 to 37
Marianne – pg. 38 to 43
8:25 ID volunteers for next meeting
8:28 Close with verse
There is a knighthood of the 21st century whose riders do not ride through the darkness of physical forests as of old, but through the forest of darkened minds. They are armed with a spiritual armor and an inner sun makes them radiant. Out of them shines healing, healing that flows from the knowledge of the human being as a spiritual being. They must create inner order, inner justice, peace and conviction in the darkness of our time. ~Karl Konig
For more info. contact Alberto Loya
‘Tuning to the Stars’: Eurythmy for the Holy Nights with Jan Ranck* –
Sacred Geometry, the Planets and the Zodiac
LIVE IN-PERSON 26-30 Dec. 2021 at the Rudolf Steiner Branch Chicago 4 pm – 5 pm
And at 8pm on 31 Dec. as part of our annual NYE Conscious Community Gathering (details TBA)
$100 for all 6 sessions, or $22 for each individual session.
Make your payment using PayPal
or QuickPay with Zelle to firstname.lastname@example.org
(please indicate in the notes that it is for the Holy Nights Eurythmy)
Cash at the door, or send a check to:
Rudolf Steiner Branch
4249 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618-2953
For more info. Contact Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator
Hazel Archer-Ginsberg hag@RSchicago.org
* Jan Ranck – Born in the USA, Jan Ranck studied music and comparative arts at Indiana University in Bloomington. She accompanied the London Stage Group on their 1976 USA tour and went on to study eurythmy at the Eurythmeum in Dornach with Lea van der Pals, where she subsequently taught. In 1984 she joined the faculty of The London School of Eurythmy. She left there to complete her eurythmy therapy training in Stuttgart in 1989, moving afterward to Israel, where she founded and directed the Jerusalem Eurythmy Ensemble (1990) and the Jerusalem Academy of Eurythmy (1992) and was an instructor in the Jerusalem Waldorf Teacher Bachelor Program in David Yellin Academic College from 1999. Jan has held Master Classes at various venues worldwide, including the Goetheanum and the MA Program in Eurythmy held at Emerson College and Spring Valley. She is the representative for Israel in the International Eurythmy Therapy Forum.
2 thoughts on “Tree, & Cabbage & Kale O my”
Thank you Hazel for sharing the information on the YouTube video, for those who are unable to be there for your Chrysalis group. My mind somehow made a link between the “gemut” you mentioned, and the tree in your blog. Human beings are often compared to a tree, with a few in the Bible that stand out to me. Psalm 1 compares the student of the Word to a tree planted by streams of water. Jesus said that we’re the “branches”, even though he was speaking of the vine, but Paul takes it a step further by referring to Gentiles (unless you happen to be Jewish) as being like “wild olive branches” grafted into a cultivated olive tree.
I like the idea of the branches, as it speaks to our individuality. Which makes me wonder if the tree then, as an organism containing many branches, can refer to our collective interests? So, for example, the people who read your blog are a type of tree, made up of individual branches, but drawing from the same root system for nourishment. Your blog, in turn, is a similar type of tree to the ASA, whose “branches” also draw from the same root system, being connected in an invisible manner, much as the roots of trees become intertwined under the surface of the ground.
Fascinating stories about the uses of kale. I’m sure they all have an interesting story behind them, but I wonder if Cailleach hasn’t “overcooked” the minds of those making up some of these?
Such a potent image of the interweaving roots, the branches & vines all nourished in the heart of Christ…
What of the fruit? Can we enter the grape or olive press & pour out pure?
And yes, we must nerver let the cauldron over cook the kale…:)